September is Head Lice Prevention month, a good time to call attention to the facts of head lice as children go back to school—typically a peak period for the head-loving bugs. Once children start playing, hugging, and taking selfies with friends, and, if someone in the group has head lice, the bugs will spread.
“Parents often panic when they get the call from school that their child, or a child in class has head lice,” Ryan Nelson says. “The first thing we tell them is they didn’t do anything wrong, and neither did their child other than maybe hug or touch hair with someone who has head lice. The true facts about head lice can help diffuse parents fear and stress.”
To help parents be informed and prepared, Nelson, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida, reviews the basics of head lice infestations, prevention, and treatment.
- Head lice have nothing to do with economic status or the cleanliness of the home. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses are very clear on this.
- Head Lice don’t represent a health threat. They don’t carry or cause any diseases or illness other than itching. Again, health professionals are very clear on this. Lice are simply a nuisance.
- 98% of the time head lice only spread through head-to-head, contact. They cannot jump or fly. They can only live on a human scalp, and they cannot live anywhere else since they dehydrate and quickly become too weak to move. As a matter of fact, head lice do not want to leave the scalp at all; since they feed on human blood up to 6 times per day. That may be disgusting, but it’s true. Lice don’t want to be on your sofa, on stuffed animals or the carpet. The good news is, you don’t need to treat your home with lice-killing products. They are ineffective, pesticide-based and can be toxic. Simply wash any bedding, towels and clothing the child with head lice has had contact with in the last 24 hours.”
- Help prevent head lice by educating your child to avoid hair-to-hair and head-to-head contact. You can also prevent lice by keeping her hair pulled back in a braid, tight bun or short ponytail.
- Traditional pesticide-based lice products are no longer working! The most recent study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2016, found that 98 percent of head lice in 48 states are now immune to the pesticides used in traditional lice products. The most popular drugstore products are still pesticide-based.
- Most head lice products, even if they still worked to kill lice, do NOT kill the lice eggs (sometimes called nits), and so, the 10-day process requires repeated applications and tedious nitpicking to get all the eggs out. Common reasons for at-home treatment failure is using the popular pesticide-based products or parents missing just a few tiny nits, which hatch, and the lice return.
- Traditional lice products often use pesticides, and most parents don’t realize that. Even if those products still worked, would parents really want to douse their child’s head in pesticides when there are safer, faster, more effective alternatives available? Not only are pesticides no longer effective, repeated use has been shown to cause behavioral issues.
- At Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida our professionals quickly and easily get rid of head lice in a single treatment. That’s right, one treatment, one hour and you are lice free, guaranteed. Parents love this ‘one and done’ option and are so relieved to have lice out of their life so quickly!”
“People call us all the time after they have tried and failed to treat head lice on their own, says Nelson. “Parents spend so much time and money using products that don’t work. It breaks my heart.”
“Prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Knowing the facts can go a long way toward reducing stress and anxiety about head lice.
Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida is the exclusive provider of lice treatment using the FDA-cleared AirAllé® medical device. In clinical trials the AirAllé device has been proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs using precision-controlled heated air to dehydrate the lice and eggs in about an hour, and results are guaranteed. It’s fast, non-toxic, and pesticide free. Our professional licensed head lice technicians are friendly and knowledgeable and will relieve all the stress and anxiety head lice may cause you and your family. Lice Clinics of America also offer pesticide-free and effective do-it-yourself lice treatment solutions, along with lice prevention products.
Have a lice-free school year!